Episode 44: It's Okay If You Want to Lose Weight. And If You Don't Too.
Trigger warning: This episode contains discussion of weight loss, experiences with disordered eating, and other sensitive topics related to dieting and diet culture.
We’re kicking off the summer season with bikini body talk! When we recently confided in each other that we feel guilty —and even like bad feminists — for wanting to lose weight, we realized it was time to talk. In this week’s episode, we chat about body positivity, Intuitive Eating, Healthy At Every Size, and the anti-diet movement (or are they movements?), and how we reconcile each with our privilege, desires, and motherhood.
It’s a messy, personal conversation, but one we felt needed to be had in a vulnerable, non- judgmental way. We’re not experts and this episode is not about serving up answers or guidelines, but rather revealing our struggle as we seek to find what feels to us like a middle ground.
Body Positivity, Intuitive Eating, Health At Every Size, and the Anti-Diet, Oh My
Are They Non-Mutually Exclusive?
We are processing.
We are not experts, nor do we pose as them. The conversation that we have in this episode is about putting our struggles on display in case that’s helpful to anyone else. Because we have a feeling it might be.
Are we anti-feminist to want to lose weight? Or because we’ve tried Whole30?
Does wanting to lose weight mean we hate our bodies?
Is it wrong to want to get strong? Be thinner? Change our shapes?
Is it wrong to feel that women shouldn’t necessarily want those things — that losing weight is a pressure we shouldn’t feel?
And what about our kids: What do they see? How are they processing? And how much should we put our own feelings, for better or worse, aside in an attempt to model something greater for them?
We’ve asked all these question and have had ALL the feels around them (at once, even). Because it’s personal. Because our desires, goals, and even our feelings about ourselves and our bodies have changed with the seasons of life — and continue to change everyday. As we get older. As we struggle with new and different health challenges. As our kids show us that they’ve been watching all along.
Middle of the Road is a Hard Sell on Social
Feeling Positively About Your Body is Personal, Not a Meme
We’ve made no secret that we’re drawn to the anti-diet movement, but in a lot of ways, we’ve also been let down by it. Of course we want everyone to feel positively about their bodies, but we also understand why someone might want to lose weight. We do — and it’s not always self-harm to want that. It’s an important distinction that we think might get lost in social media translation.
So here we are, seeking a middle ground. We want to stop judging and feeling judged. We know that these desires and how we define them reflect our privilege. We’re food people, though — like, professionally. So we’re acknowledging our privilege and talking about it all anyway, in the best way we know how: honestly and vulnerably.
Here are some links we reference in our conversation:
The Anti-Diet Movement is Not an Anti-Health Campaign: “But is the anti-diet trend losing control of its initial healthy mission or does society (and some health professionals) need to just get a grip and have a French fry?”
My Fitness Pal (you can follow Meghan there: she’s @MegJSplawn)
“Smash The Wellness Industry” in the New York Times
These definitions and explanations of Intuitive Eating (IE) and Health At Every Size (HAES) resonate with us. They don’t have to with you, but we wanted to share.
The Kids Are Watching
And We’re Listening
Whatever our desires — whether to accept our bodies or to strive to make changes — at the end of the day, our kids are watching. A huge part of this week’s conversation is sharing how we talk about our bodies, weight, and food with and around our kids, including the things we struggle with.
Because so much struggle. In fact, both Stacie and Meghan carry the weight (pun intended!) of feeling like we’ve made some big mistakes in our approach. But, as we’ve learned from Jill Castle way back in episode , we can always start anew — and that starts with talking to our kids.
Since we’re works in progress, we love hearing from other parents how they’re handling parenting challenges. We invite you to join us in our Listeners’ Group on Facebook to share how you talk to your kids about bodies, food, and weight. You can find us as @didntijustfeedyou on Facebook, and if you’re a listener who knows the answer to the secret questions (there are TWO now and, hint, they’re both in this episode), join our private group too.
Follow Us On Social
See What We’re Up To!
Want to keep up with us between episodes? Follow us on Instagram where we share what we’re cooking in our kitchens, along with tips, and recipes too.
Also, this week we’re curious:
DO YOU WANT US TO TALK MORE ABOUT DIETING, FOOD HABITS, AND TOPICS LIKE THIS WEEK’S, OR JUST STICK TO THE HANDS-ON KITCHEN TIPS AND RECIPES?!
Be honest. We want to know!
Your Next Listen
A Spotlight on Some of Our Favorite Podcasts for Parents
If you’re always looking for something to listen to after listening to Didn’t I Just Feed You, check out one of our favorite podcasts, The Mom Hour.
Between them, hosts Sarah and Meghan have EIGHT kids from little to grown and are in different stages of life in different parts of the country. Together, they offer a wide lens on this whole motherhood thing.
Every week, they share practical tips, judgement-free advice, and real stories of how they’ve handled parenting challenges, from potty training to finding time for genuine self care.
They’re not experts, but parents who’ve been there. They’re not perfect, but they’re real. And we think they’re hella funny too.
Trust us, you’ll never want to miss an episode, so subscribe right now wherever you get your favorite podcasts.